New iPhone SMS alert!

Last week, Pathfinder and I were both getting distracted from what we were doing when either of our phones paged. There's really only one SMS alert tone that I find acceptable, and that's "Glass". Unfortunately, I guess I'm not the only one that considers most of the others useless. The big problem I have is that I need something to ring twice, especially if I'm sleeping and need to be woken up (yay nagios). Others of them I just won't hear (Bell and Chime), they sound too much like AIM (Tri-tone), or they're just plain ugly (Horn and Electronic).

So, thanks to the wonder of jailbreaking, I made my own, a nice Japanese Bell. There are a bunch of guides out there on the net that tell you how to make an alert suond, but surprisingly I can't find the one I used anymore. Short story - open your sound file in iTunes, change it to AIFF format, export it, rename the file to sms-received#.caf (where # is 1-6) and scp it to your iPhone at /System/Library/Audio/UISounds/sms-received#.caf. It will replace whichever sound is indicated by #. (I replaced 4, the Horn.)

Now Path and I will never be confused again! (unless of course, he reads this post and is so enamored by this tone that he installs it too. That will never happen.)

Oh, while looking for the replace-your-sms instructions, I came across this site that tells you how to increase the length of the vibration that your phone does in addition to the tone when you get an SMS. (of course, since I'm not on windows, I can just scp the .plist file over and edit it directly. Saves a lot of steps...) The only thing I chose to do differently is make the settings 0.4s on, 0.1s off, with 1.5s duration so I get three short vibrates rather than one long one.


nike+ipod does not promote healthy exercise

A while ago I got the nike+ ipod gizmo. I like it. I usually go by setting a time limit for my run, and I really appreciate that it tones down the music and says '10 minutes' or 'half way' and things like that. Plus, with an arm band and an iPod nano, running to music is great.

But I've got beef with it (nevermind that it doesn't run on firefox), and there is no effective place to give feedback.

You all know what they say about a healthy workout, right? 7-10 minutes warm up, 15+ minutes keeping your heart rate above 120bpm (adjusted for age), and 5-10 minutes cool down, right?

The warm up part is easy - just don't run so hard until you get going. But when you're running with the nike+ setup, there is no way to effectively include your cool down period. Ok, let's think about this.

  • You could tell nike your run is 60 minutes and just stop at 50 to cool down. Well, aside from time, nike+ keeps things like average speed, and if you actually want to know what your average speed was, including the cool down period in there screws it up.

  • You could just run your 60 minutes and then cool down after on your own. Well, ok, you certainly can, but when you "finish" your workout, it stops the music! It's not at all obvious how to get back to the same track and pick up where you left off, not to mention not really wanting to poke a bunch of buttons when you're all hot and sweaty.

Every exercise machine in the gym does it, why do Nike and Apple not include any cool down period in the nike+ setup?


We'll just swap that out.

I borrowed Q's iPhone two days ago and realized that the button felt different. Mine was sorta stiff; it didn't click and you had to squeeze the iPhone in order to get the button to register. I just figured that was how it was until I tried Q's phone.

I went into the apple store and gave it to one of the folks there. "Does this feel right to you?" I asked.
"No, man, that's weird." came the reply. "Here, try mine." He pulled a phone out of his holster and handed it to me. Nice easy loose 'click' every time I hit the button. SO much nicer. "Come on back here, let's see what we can do."

He led me to the back of the store and one of the folks at the Genius bar was available. "Yeah, that's pretty broken." he confirmed. "We'll just swap that out. Do you have time to stick around for a bit? I'll get you a new phone."

30 minutes later (it took a while to register and restore the phone from the backup on my laptop) I left the store with a replacement. No mailing it here or there, no questions, no hassle. I signed one form that said I had replaced it and that was that.

I'm impressed. Thanks, Apple.

There's a flip side to this story. It was a slow night; the store was empty and employees were wandering looking for someone to help. Despite the lack of a crowd, while I was there, two other folks came up to the genius bar with issues with their iPhone. For one person, nobody could hear him talk. The other couldn't charge her phone. It seems they're replacing a lot of these phones. I wonder how many phones they swap out on a busy day?!


Bass River, High Tide

Bass River, High Tide, originally uploaded by maplebed.

My first iPhone upload. Not sure how much I like the interface, but we'll see.


Location based alarms

I found what may actually be a useful iPhone app - iComing. It's a location based alarm - when you arrive at a specific point (or within X distance of a specific point) it takes an action. Actions are one of nothing, poke Twitter, send an SMS, make a phone call, or ring a sound.

* When I get within 5 miles of the train station, SMS my ride and tell them I'm here.
* When we arrive at the hotel, call my SO and tell them we arrived safely.
* When I get to my stop, wake me up

Location aware apps are the future - why is this only available on jailbroken phones? Why does apple cripple the iPhone (non-jailbroken apps can't run in the background, so location alarms only work if you do nothing else with the phone) and prevent the Glorious Future?


Inscidious Product Design

You've all heard the stories. I just want to add one more to the list.

I bought the extended warranty for my Blackberry - 2 years instead of one. When does it die? 2 years and 2 months after purchase.


Well, at least I got an iPhone out of it.